STAT News – As efforts intensify to blunt the ongoing opioid crisis, a new study finds that increased marketing of the addictive painkillers to physicians corresponds with more prescribing and, subsequently, more deaths from overdose.
Interestingly, industry influence over physicians was greater based on the number of interactions, and not based on the amount of money paid . . . or the value of freebies like free meals.
Between Aug. 2013 and Dec. 2015, drug makers made nearly 435,000 payments totaling $39.7 million to 67,500 doctors in 2,200 counties across the U.S. The payments were for meals, travel costs, speaking and consulting, but never research.